Great News! HIV/AIDS Doctors Released from Prison in Iran

"Prisoner of conscience Doctor Arash Alaei was released from Evin Prison in Tehran on 27 August 2011 where he had been serving a six year sentence. His release followed a pardon by the Supreme Leader. His brother, Kamiar Alaei, another doctor, is also free.

Arash Alaei is an internationally renowned expert in the prevention and treatment of HIV and AIDS. He was arrested in June 2008 and sentenced to six years in prison after conviction of “co-operating with an enemy government”. He had not been politically active. He was held in pre-trial detention for months without access to a lawyer and was given an unfair trial in which secret evidence was produced that he was not allowed to see or challenge.

Arash Alaei was released from prison on 27 August 2011 along with around 100 other prisoners pardoned by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei ahead of the Eid al-Fitr celebrations at the end of the Islamic month of Ramadan.

Arash Alaei’s brother, Kamiar Alaei, also a medical doctor working in the field of prevention and treatment of HIV and AIDS, was arrested around the same time as his brother and sentenced to three years in prison. Kamiar Alaei was released after serving two and a half years.

Their arrest is believed to have been related to their links with foreign academics and civil society organizations, including in the USA. Amnesty International regarded them both as prisoners of conscience who should never have been imprisoned and campaigned for their immediate and unconditional release along with a wide range of health and other human rights organizations.

No further action is required. Many thanks to all those who sent appeals. "